Construction Law/1999 FIDIC


Dear Sir

According to the 1999 FIDIC, could you explain the differences of similar wordings:

(a) Right

(b) Obligation

(c) Duty

(d) Responsibility

(e) Liability



Dear Sudantha,

Thank you for this question. I will try to keep the answers as short and simple as possible. There are, however, cross-overs between some of the definitions, as you have perceived already.

RIGHT: An entitlement to something, whether to concepts like justice and due process, or to ownership of property or some interest in property, real or personal.

OBLIGATION: A legal duty to pay or do something.

DUTY: A legal obligation, the breach of which can result in liability.

RESPONSIBILITY: The obligation to answer for an act done, and to repair any injury it may have caused.

LIABILITY: A legal responsibility for one's acts or omissions

I hope that this assists you.

Kind regards,
John Dowse

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John Dowse


Legal; contract interpretation; quantum; delay analysis. Practitioner in arbitration, adjudication and mediation.


Thirty-three (33) years experience in building and construction, at all levels both within contracting and consulting organisations. Practising arbitrator, adjudicator, and mediator. Faculty approved trainer for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Lecturer on construction contract forms and dispute resolution practices.

Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Institute of Directors Society of Construction Arbitrators

Various UK and International construction and legal publications.

LLB (Hons), Pg Dip (Legal Practice), MCInstCES MCIArb MIOD Barrister

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